“TAKE 2!”

Take two minutes to contact the Senate Judiciary Committee TODAY

 

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will revisit HB 481 on the legalization and commercialization of recreational marijuana.

In the spring of this year, with a coalition that included Communities for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth (CADY), the Diocese of ManchesterNew Futures, and Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM-NH)Cornerstone fought against HB 481, which would have commercialized recreational marijuana and made it very difficult for cities & towns to opt out of having pot shops within their borders.

Those in support of the bill anticipated neither our careful reading of the bill nor the pressure we brought against its passing rallied by NH Senator Bob Giuda. As a result, the Senate Judiciary Committee tabled the bill!

THIS TUESDAY December 3rd, at 2.00 pm in State House Room 100, the Committee will again take up HB 481 along with some other bills left over from last spring. This is our opportunity to ensure it does not go forward.

Please take two minutes to call or email the Senate Judiciary Committee, asking them to vote “ITL,” or Inexpedient to Legislate, on HB 481.  

Find Senate Judiciary contact information here. And see below for a refresher on some talking points.

Why is
the commercialization of recreational marijuana
a bad idea for NH?
 

HB 481 Provides NO Protections for Children & Youth.  It…

  1. Does not limit potency on flower cannabis and cannabis products.
  2. Allows edibles, flavored products such as cannabis-infused sodas and vaping fluids, and highly potent products like-shatter, waxes and dabs.
  3. Leaves up to rule-making by a Cannabis Control Commission whether there should be prohibitions on advertising and marketing targeted toward youth.  Can we really trust the CCC, a body that will be the very definition of “corporate capture?” Meaning, the CCC Commissioners will by definition be supporters of “big pot” with NO incentive to protect the public health. Just look at Massachusetts!
 

HB 481 Eliminates ANY Public Health Leadership and Local Control. It…

  1. Creates a three-member Cannabis Control Commission with regulatory and licensing authority: “no person shall be appointed if they oppose marijuana commercialization.” No law has ever required that level of thought-control!
  2. Creates a Cannabis Advisory Board to study and make recommendations on the regulation of cannabis and cannabis products: 9 of the 11 seats on the Board are represented by the marijuana industry–“big pot.”
  3. New Hampshire communities are automatically opted in to participating in retail sales, unless they proactively opt out. With the timing of the Cannabis Commission’s issuing of licenses, some towns wouldn’t be able to enact ordinances fast enough to prevent licenses from being issued in their communities by the CCC.
 

HB 481 Does Not Provide Sufficient Upfront & Ongoing Funding to Minimize the Medical & Social Harms That Marijuana Commercialization WILL Bring About. 

  1. Although the bill states that 29% of funding shall be used for substance abuse-related education, prevention, treatment, and recovery, funding must be appropriated through the biennial BUDGET for these purposes. But NH STILL does not correctly allocate profits from the sales of liquor for prevention, treatment, and recovery of alcohol addiction years after the Alcohol Fund was created.
  2. HB 481 provides no upfront funding for any mass media and social media campaigns to minimize health and social harms if legalized.
What Will They Think of Next?

While we believe that any efforts to revive HB 481 in its current form are unlikely, our reading of the LSR’s–Legislative Service Requests, or items likely to become bills in 2020–indicates that there are no fewer than THIRTEEN potential bills related to marijuana. Sources indicate that pro-pot legislators will likely try a “grow your own” type of strategy as has passed in Vermont.

Cornerstone will keep you updated with our analysis of these bills as their exact text & hearing schedules become available so that together we can continue to SAY NOPE TO DOPE in 2020.